Bond Vote for KMC Successful
On October 1, Ketchikan city residents voted to approve Proposition 1, permitting the City of Ketchikan to move forward in securing a bond for the remaining $43 million needed to fully fund the $62 million addition to Ketchikan Medical Center (KMC).
Having already secured $19 million toward the project from the State of Alaska and a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the federal government, the project can now proceed.
“The City Council approved the Master Plan for this project back in 2009 and today we can say that the vision of what is truly needed for health care in our community will now become a reality,” noted City Mayor Lew Williams.
Ultimately, the funds allocated for the project through the State, and the fact that it will be paid for using an existing 1% health care sales tax, made deal too good for the majority of voters to pass up. Preliminary results show 73.6% of voters who turned out for Tuesday’s election voting in favor of the construction project.
“We are so pleased that our community realized the value of the Your Health-Your Future project and voted to support the City Bond. This demonstrates what is truly important to them— having the highest level of health care services right here at or near home, supporting our quality of life and economic diversity,” reflected KMC Chief Administrative Officer Ken Tonjes. “This is a win for all in Southeast Alaska.”
“From the perspective of seniors, healthcare and the need for access to healthcare is the most critical issue this community has faced in a very long time. I am extremely pleased the voters understood this and passed the ballot measure—for seniors, for everyone” remarked Ed Zastrow, chair of the local AARP, who voted in favor of the project.
The new construction adds 72,000 square feet of surgical and clinical space onto the front west corner of the existing hospital building. It will also include a covered patient-parking garage with 52 parking spaces as well as a number of infrastructure upgrades.